Walking for Friends

There are days in life when we need to dig deeper and find that extra bit of resilience! Today was such a day for me.

Waking up early, my husband and I made our way to the starting point of a 27 km walk across seven of the bridges in Sydney. Not quite sure what to expect but happy to feel a sense of belonging with an amazing group of friends, we set out in anticipation of a wonderful day. A glorious Sydney day, patchy clouds and a gentle breeze – volunteers out in force making sure that the 15 000 people followed the correct route and had plenty of water along the way.

October is breast cancer awareness month, and across our nation today, walks and functions were held to raise much needed research funds. Today our group ‘Robdog’ walked to remember a beautiful friend, Robyn – a person we all loved and lost to Pancreatic cancer some months ago.

Six hours of walking gave us many mindful moments of awareness – a chance to absorb the atmosphere and the humanity. Thousands of people turning up to walk because someone in their life has been affected by cancer.

I personally have never walked more than 15 km, and as we edged past that milestone, I started to feel the aches and pains. My strength to carry on came from watching the stoic efforts of people around me – and thinking of our Robyn and how she so very bravely faced every challenge that came her way in the last year of her life. Giving up was never an option for her; no matter how tough things became she was always finding the positive in every situation and a way to work with the life cards she had been dealt.

And so between us all, we soldiered on – feeling grateful to be together and feeling that belonging that comes from having shared ‘life’. The ups, the downs, the inevitable challenges and the opportunities.

Sydney glittered today, a city of such beauty and elegance with waterways, bridges, boats and astounding views! Wetlands and bush tracks filtering through beautiful suburbs – parks and café’s, pubs and the glorious scent of spring jasmine.

As I write this blog, I find myself physically quite exhausted – even standing up straight is tricky for me right now! But my heart is full of gratitude and I know that Robbie was with us every step of the way today. She would have been surprised that so many people turned out to walk and to remember her. Yes Rob, we did it for you, and we did it for all those people like you who were taken from us far too soon.

Cancer is a terrible disease, one that ravages our families and changes our lives. But one day at a time, we are all taking a stand and making a difference. There are so many amazing scientists working tirelessly to find the genetic codes and the answers – to creating a world where we are able to understand cancer better.

The day ended with a delicious glass of cold beer, celebrating life, friendship and happy times. I encourage you all to reach out, remember those you have loved and lost – and remember that life carries on and we now owe it to our loved ones to be strong, resilient and brave.

To be true to our values and our beliefs, to support each other, and most especially to do everything we can to support those amazing scientists in our midst who are striving to find solutions to the cancer puzzle.

Onwards and upwards!

Cheers Alison